Poll: California Senate Race Tightens Slightly

Loretta Sanchez leads Kamala Harris among Latino voters

Rep. Loretta Sanchez is narrowing the gap against state Attorney General Kamala Harris in the California Senate race, a new poll shows. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Loretta Sanchez closed the gap slightly but California Attorney General Kamala Harris still holds a large lead, according to a new poll of the state's all-Democrat Senate race.

The SurveyUSA poll shows Harris in the lead with 40 percent support among likely voters, compared to Sanchez's 29 percent. But Harris is down 4 points from an identical poll three weeks ago, while Sanchez is up 2. 

While Harris is ahead by double-digits among white, African-American and Asian-American voters, Sanchez leads by 6 points with Latinos in the state as well as by 10 points among Republicans. Harris and Sanchez won the top two spots in the Golden State's open primary in June, leaving no Republican on the November Senate ballot. 

In addition, those who backed Carly Fiorina in her failed challenge against retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer six years ago prefer Sanchez while those who supported Boxer prefer Harris.

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Nearly half of Republican voters polled (47 percent) and 41 percent of independents said they were undecided about the Senate race. In contrast, only 13 percent of Democrats had not made up their minds, while the rest backed Harris by a 55 to 32 percent margin. 

Unsurprisingly in deep-blue California, Democrat Hillary Clinton is beating GOP rival Donald Trump by 26 points, 59 percent to 33 percent, in a four-way race. Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson drew 3 percent and the Green Party's Jill Stein took 2 percent. Clinton's numbers jumped 2 points from the previous poll from three weeks ago.

The poll surveyed 751 likely voters in the Senate race and 732 likely voters in the presidential race from Sept. 27-28. The margin of error in both races was 3.6 percentage points. 

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